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The Conclusion returns to the idea of Katanga, Rhodesia, Transkei, and Bophuthatswana pursuing a common ideological project. It will further explore the relationship between individual aspirant states and the international state system to draw conclusions about the nature of African self-determination and statehood. Finally, this book will end by looking at the afterlives of these four, how they are remembered, their ghost-like existence in cyberspace, and discuss the complicated legacies left by Katanga, Rhodesia, Transkei, and Bophuthatswana.
This chapter examines the ways in which the Geneva conference of late 1976, as the culmination of American efforts to push forward with majority rule talks, failed to reach any meaningful results. Part of the failure had to do with the end of President Ford’s administration and the end of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s role in the Rhodesia crisis. Much of the chapter analyzes the diplomatic roles of Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, and how they interacted with American, British, and African diplomats and leaders during the conference. The Zairian leader Mobutu was also involved in assessing the African leaders, and his observations of Mugabe and Nkomo are discussed. The chapter shows how Mugabe managed to make the most of the otherwise failed Geneva talks to solidify his leadership role in ZANU, and how after the conference, he and ZANLA leader Tongogara removed the ZIPA leaders by having them imprisoned in Mozambique in early 1977. The chapter also examines British, American, South African, and Rhodesian views of the future prospects of the Zimbabwean nationalist leaders.
This chapter focuses mainly on the attempts by the British, Nigerians, and Zambians to set up the possibility of private negotiations between the Patriotic Front and Ian Smith in 1978. As the war grew increasingly costly and unwinnable from the Rhodesian perspective, Britain’s David Owen tried to work with the Zambians and Joe Garba of Nigeria to bring Ian Smith and Joshua Nkomo together for secret negotiations in Lusaka in August 1978. The diplomacy leading up to this meeting is explored, especially around Nkomo’s insistence and need to involve Mugabe as part of his promise not to break up the Patriotic Front. As numerous sources explain, Nkomo kept to his word not to negotiate a transfer of power from Smith without Mugabe, but Mugabe refused the pressures from the Nigerians to accept further negotiations, mostly because the offer would have required Mugabe to a take a secondary role to Nkomo. The fallout of the meeting is examined, as it led to the heightening of the war and increased accusations that Nkomo was ready to “sell-out” the Patriotic Front.
The 'Rhodesian crisis' of the 1960s and 1970s, and the early 1980s crisis of independent Zimbabwe, can be understood against the background of Cold War historical transformations brought on by, among other things, African decolonization in the 1960s; the failure of American power in Vietnam and the rise of Third World political power at the UN and elsewhere. In this African history of the diplomacy of decolonization in Zimbabwe, Timothy Lewis Scarnecchia examines the relationship and rivalry between Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe over many years of diplomacy, and how both leaders took advantage of Cold War racialized thinking about what Zimbabwe should be, including Anglo-American preoccupations with keeping whites from leaving after Independence. Based on a wealth of archival source materials, including materials that have recently become available through thirty-year rules in the UK and South Africa, it uncovers how foreign relations bureaucracies the US, UK, and SA created a Cold War 'race state' notion of Zimbabwe that permitted them to rationalize Mugabe's state crimes in return for Cold War loyalty to Western powers.
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